A Sermon on Ephesians 6:1-4
Children and Parents
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (ESV)
How should parents discipline their children? It can be a hard topic since past abuse often provokes a parent to not discipline at all. In reaction to this, many Christians can react wrongly too. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds us that Christians need balance, especially when it comes to disciplining children. We cannot be reactionaries and revert to the old tyrannical methods, nor can we deny where Scripture says discipline is necessary for children. In expositing Ephesians 6:1-4, Lloyd-Jones provides parents and those in authority over children several principles to guide them in not provoking their child to anger. Importantly, there is a call towards self-examination by parents. The Doctor sets Ephesians 5:18 as the paradigm to commence this self-examination. Being filled by the Holy Spirit will give parents power that is not uncontrolled, capricious, unreasonable, selfish, severe or thoughtless. In other words, the fruit of the Spirit will be evident in parent’s lives. When this is the case, loving discipline is never domineering or possessive and guards against exasperating a child by changing rules and methods. Listen closely as Lloyd-Jones provides practical advice for parents that is biblically based.